Got a new cat, reputable breeder or byb?

coteenkaph

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Hi, so I got a pedigreed Scottish Straight today, and I was super uper excited cause he's a beautiful white kitten. But when it did arrive, I checked everything, his coat, his body, his ears. Upon inspection, his ears are quite dirty, his nails are also dirty and he is quite underweight. He's 5 months old, and he's a sweet thing honestly, quite shy since he's only just getting used to our place. I have a 5 month old kitten myself, and she weighs much heavier and her built is much better than his. I'm not sure whether to address this to the breeder, since the breeder's cattery is reputable around here - I'm kinda scared the breeder will get mad at me cause I am younger than him, like imo, I know my cats and I know how well-taken care of cats look like, and I feel bad that this kitten is super underweight. The cattery is also TICA registered, which is shocking. I mean the kitten looked good in the photos to be fair. The cattery is like 6 hours away from our place and the borders are quite strict due to the pandemic, we would've loved to do a visit but we were iffy about it - my mistake of not doing a visit.
 

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Do you have any photos? Some kittens will go through periods of looking a bit underweight due to significant growth spurts, as they just can’t eat enough to keep up with energy demand. What do you mean by dirty ears and claws, exactly? Some level of grime in the ears is normal for cats, while claws could get dirty from any number of things.
 
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coteenkaph

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i didnt manage to get any photos of his ears and his claws, cause I quickly just cleaned him up before entering him into our cat room for quarantine. This is him on the adoption certificate the breeder gave me. His ears were filled with black and brown specks, his claws had bits of litter and dried poop on them. He is 1.5kg when we weighed him, and when we took him to the vet she did say he was a bit underweight, like you could see and feel his ribs and shoulderblades.
 

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sivyaleah

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He's very cute!

Do you have the actual pedigree papers from the breeder? Or will you be able to get them once he's neutered?
And what do you mean by adoption certificate? Most of the time, the word adoption isn't used when dealing with pedigree cats since they are purchased - not adopted.
Last, what did you pay for him? Most pedigree cats go for a minimum of $1000 and then upwards. If you paid substantially less that is another way of knowing you may be dealing with a BYB.
 
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coteenkaph

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He's very cute!

Do you have the actual pedigree papers from the breeder? Or will you be able to get them once he's neutered?
And what do you mean by adoption certificate? Most of the time, the word adoption isn't used when dealing with pedigree cats since they are purchased - not adopted.
Last, what did you pay for him? Most pedigree cats go for a minimum of $1000 and then upwards. If you paid substantially less that is another way of knowing you may be dealing with a BYB.
The papers are on process, according to the breeder. Before getting the kitten actually I went through his Facebook, his cattery website and the TICA website to assure the legitimacy of the cattery, everything seemed okay, I paid around $ 1000, in usd currency for the kitten. He is a sweet thing, it's just kinda weird that seeing the site, the breeder's following, I had higher expectations for the kitten. I don't know around here they use the word rehoming and adopting rather than selling/purchased cause there's a lot of animal rights people that get triggered easily. I mean the weight thing is an easy fix tbh, but still wouldn't anyone feel a little disappointed paying that much for a kitten that doesn't necessarily fit your personal standards? Or maybe, thats just me. I've bought a pedigreed cat before a highland straight but he was fine, we had no problems at all with the kitten. Sorry if this offends anyone, I just wanted to know your insight on this.
 

sivyaleah

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The papers are on process, according to the breeder. Before getting the kitten actually I went through his Facebook, his cattery website and the TICA website to assure the legitimacy of the cattery, everything seemed okay, I paid around $ 1000, in usd currency for the kitten. He is a sweet thing, it's just kinda weird that seeing the site, the breeder's following, I had higher expectations for the kitten. I don't know around here they use the word rehoming and adopting rather than selling/purchased cause there's a lot of animal rights people that get triggered easily. I mean the weight thing is an easy fix tbh, but still wouldn't anyone feel a little disappointed paying that much for a kitten that doesn't necessarily fit your personal standards? Or maybe, thats just me. I've bought a pedigreed cat before a highland straight but he was fine, we had no problems at all with the kitten. Sorry if this offends anyone, I just wanted to know your insight on this.
No offense. Actually I totally agree with you.

We have a pedigree Maine Coon who came from a very well known breeder registered with CFA. Has lots of champions in her lines. She has been breeding MC's for gosh, 30 years or so now I think. But she wasn't the easiest to do business with and there were several aggravating moments though none which effected our desire to have that particular kitten. She was very nice to us when we came to pickup Luna, gracious and spent a good amount of time with us chatting and going over everything. I think, in retrospect she was just too busy with all else going on in life to care about being super friendly. Which is fine.

Our girl, however, had a bunch of minor health problems from the get go. Not from neglect or anything - I just think the mating wasn't the best combination genetically, and she got the small end of the straw. From coccidia (very common in all kittens and at least she was asymptomatic but still had to be treated), to possible Feline Herpes (tested negative but all her symptoms pointed to it - along with eye issues which thankfully have long resolved). Has reactions to her vaccines. She had a wonky dewclaw that grew into her and had to be surgically removed, and now diagnosed with seasonal allergies which was causing ear infections so she's on sublingual allergy drops (fingers crossed this works).

Oh and she's more on the petite side for an MC - long and lean and only 11lbs and she's 2 years old now.

She does look fabulous, though and my dad always said better to look good than feel good LOL. Plus she's sweet and gentle despite her high maintenance - our vet jokes she's a Faberge Egg; beautiful and fragile.

I did get upset at the very beginning but we love her so much in spfite of all of that so I decided to put that behind me. We are on another breeders list (have been for a while) and the new breeder, well she's very open with about all the highs and lows of their cattery - super honest and transparent so I think the next MC will wind up being a lot different.
 
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coteenkaph

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Right, so this is the third day having the kitten. He's gone out of hiding, and since I've noticed his breathing is really noisy, almost like a brachycephalic dog and he takes really deep breaths, unlike my other cats- he's not snub nosed or anything so it's strange why he'd have such a sound to his breathing...I'll take him to the vet tomorrow to see whats going on with him.

I don't know what I should do, if by any chance that the kitten i bought has some underlying issues that the breeder never disclosed, could i report this to TICA? I haven't addressed this yet to the breeder, I want to wait until I get a vet's opinion on this beforehand.
 

sivyaleah

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coteenkaph coteenkaph Sounds like he has a cold of some sort; viral or bacterial your vet will be able to advise and on course of treatment. It certainly isn't normal for any cat to have noisy, deep breathing let alone a kitten.

As for reporting, I'd think you could look on the TICA site and see if there's a way to do this. I suspect not though, as I recall CFA has a section about this on their website and would make sense TICA is the same. I don't think it's that difficult to get listed on either site for that matter and I know CFA has a disclaimer on their site saying they can not be held responsible for the listings which are in essence, glorified advertisements. Doing due diligence is the customers responsibility though a good breeder certainly will want to know if a kitten is ill so they can treat other cats and kittens in their cattery appropriately if needed and if whether or not the problem is genetic so they can learn from the experience.

Do you have an actual contract with this breeder? If so, there should be some kind of language in it regarding the health of the kitten received and how to handle it. I know our breeder sent Luna home with 1 free months of the insurance she had them on with the option to continue on us (wish I HAD kept it in hindsight!). Also, there was a clause about us taking Luna to see our own vet within a week to have them look her over and to give her a call if any issues arise We took Luna on her 3rd day home - this was how we discovered she had coccidia before she was showing symptoms of it. If there is a major health issue most reputable breeders will offer to take the kitten back with a replacement kitten offered. Most people, however, it seems get too attached to the one they already have and just deal with the health problems but at least they were given a choice in the matter.

If no contract, no recourse unfortunately.
 
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coteenkaph

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So, this is what it says on the website. I've blurred out the cattery's name for privacy sakes. But it doesn't really state what would happen if the cat released to the new owner is unwell.

I don't know whether to tell him about it now or tomorrow after the vet visit.

I feel really bad for the kitten he's heaving non-stop and he's falling asleep sitting down, it's obvious he's super uncomfortable :( I can't get him to a vet now since it's late and there are no clinics open 24/7 around here.
 

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sivyaleah

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Poor baby! Is there an emergency vet anywhere in driving distance? If not, Facebook has a great cat health group where vets dedicate their time to answering questions posted. They can't get to everyone but maybe you'll get lucky and get some advice on how to care for your little one until you can get to the vet tomorrow.

Facebook Groups

The way he's breathing by your description sound like a real problem and could be caused by many things none of which can be known unless a vet seems him.

There's a few things you may be able to try at home to get him more comfortable, such as bringing him into the bathroom, running hot water in the shower and letting the room steam up really well. Same thing one does for human babies. Keep him calm as possible (I know this is difficult with kittens!) and make sure he's drinking/eating and using the box ok. Hopefully some other members will be able to give you more ideas.

As far as the breeder probably best to wait until you see the vet. You'll be better prepared to discuss this with them in that case.

I am not well versed in legal stuff but it seems to me that they are saying

a) it takes a long time to get the registration papers. I beg to differ on this point. Those forms can be downloaded directly from the websites. At the very least your breeder should be able to send proof that they indeed did register the litter with TICA as stated.

b) Sounds to me like they are giving breeding rights without the appropriate paperwork being provided. This seems unethical to me. Good breeders spay/neuter their cats before leaving the cattery or have a clause stating when the cat should be neutered/spayed by (ours came intact but we had to provide proof of the spay). If one purchased with breeding rights, it should be clearly stated. Either way the language is ambiguous to me.
 
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coteenkaph

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I am now somewhat confused about something.

I noticed you've posted a lot lately about the health of several other cats that you have. Could it possibly be that the new kitten got infected by something your current cats are passing around?
I highly doubt it, since the new kitten is being quarantined in our rest house, which is a separate little house from our main house. Our resident cats have not had any contact with the new kitten since day one. And if it were the case, the younger kittens would be showing signs of whatever this new cat has first, but they're all perfectly fine, no wheezing or heaving...
 
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coteenkaph

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Guys, so throughout the night his breathing just got worse. So this morning, i took the cat to the vet, and the vet cannot diagnose him since he might choke to death if they strain him to take his blood. Now I contacted the breeder and it's as if he's blaming me and the delivery service. He's been very sarcastic. So I told him you know take the responsibility as well as the person who bred the cat.

I did ask him if it was okay if I took my own delivery service and he said yea it's fine, he didnt say anything anything else. Now he's twisting my words saying that I insisted that I took my own pet transport, I told him I didnt insist I asked if it was okay with you and you said yes.

I got all my other cats checked too for any illnesses that may have passed onto the new kitten, but everything came out clear, no problems at all with the other cats.

The breeder's tone was not understanding and it didn't even have a hint of care for this kitten. He's boasting about the 50 kittens he rehomed that had no problem at all. The breeder is now telling me that he will refund the money in the instance that the new kitten dies. I'm very pissed off and very sad about what's happening and honestly it's like the breeder doesn't want to take any responsibility for it.

By the looks of his condition, I don't think he'll get any better. But I've told the guy that I will get a second opinion on the kitten today.
 

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I'm sorry your kitten is not doing well and that the breeder is not cooperating with you.
How was the kitten transported? It's possible the kitten was exposed to something during transport, but not likely.

Do you have a contract signed by both you and the breeder? Or at the very least written correspondence? Anything you read on the website or FB book is not legally binding, and the breeder can deny any verbal agreements that weren't recorded.

I really hope your kitten pulls through, but you should get the breeder's offer to refund your money in writing, just in case. If he offers another kitten in exchange I would think long and hard about it before accepting that.

:vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes: for the kitten and for you.
 

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coteenkaph coteenkaph
Very sorry to read about your kitten. Poor fellow🙁
From the description it sounds as if it may be FIP causing lung congestion.
The condition the kitten arrived in sounds like he was living in an unclean environment.
Papers or no papers, I think this was a backyard breeder.
Kittens can contract FIP but it seems the condition of the kitten was poor on arrival.
Feces about his claws sounds like the environment was very unclean.
Had he any vaccinations, worming etc?
 
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coteenkaph

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Yes he's updated on all his deworming and vaccinations, I have his vet record with me. The thing is like the breeder keeps insisting that it might've been caused by the delivery guy. But correct me if I'm wrong, 3 days in my home since I got him and now he's in critical condition, wouldn't the illness be there long enough for it to reach this point?

Imo, 3 days is too short for it to get this bad to be honest. The kitten has Feline upper respiratory infection, I've been to 3 different vets and they all concluded the same thing. They still are unable to get a CBC since he's very stressed and in pain when they touch him. Honestly I'm crying as I'm typing this. My little Montgomery has been confined in an oxygenated crate and he is under monitoring. This is the very first time this is happening to me, and honestly I feel really bad because this breeder keeps insisting that it may be my fault, is it my fault? I've done nothing but monitor him, play with him, love him, feed him. I've had cats long enough to understand them without doubt, and my Montgomery is struggling as we speak. According to the vets there is a possibility that Montgomery will die, I'm praying with all my might that he doesn't... :'( I don't know how to deal with this, I'm not prepared, I've never had a cat die on me, and he's so so young....

Right now the breeder is asking me what do I want to do with this...I'm thinking to get a 50% refund now just to cover the vet expenses, and if he does eventually die I would like to get the rest back. Do you guys think this is a good decision?
 
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coteenkaph

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I'm sorry your kitten is not doing well and that the breeder is not cooperating with you.
How was the kitten transported? It's possible the kitten was exposed to something during transport, but not likely.

Do you have a contract signed by both you and the breeder? Or at the very least written correspondence? Anything you read on the website or FB book is not legally binding, and the breeder can deny any verbal agreements that weren't recorded.

I really hope your kitten pulls through, but you should get the breeder's offer to refund your money in writing, just in case. If he offers another kitten in exchange I would think long and hard about it before accepting that.

:vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes: for the kitten and for you.
I have no paper contract, it was just a terms & conditions on his cattery's website. I should've known better, my poor boy :( Thank you, yes, to be honest I would rather take the money than to swap the cat. and to be honest, I would not give this cat back to him, although chances are slim, hopefully Montgomery recovers from this, I would be more at peace having him in my home that the breeder's "licensed cattery".
her's a screenshot of one of his snarky comments, after I told him that this is your reputation that's in stake, and I'm not here to ruin your reputation, I would much rather that you help me on this and tell me anything and everything that will help my kitten recover...
 

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sivyaleah

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This is what his vet said. I don't know what's true and what's not.
The "breeder" is throwing guilt at you. This is medically incorrect. Virus borne illnesses take a few days to show up once infected. Hence why we quarantine new feline residents - to give a proper amount of time when an illness could show up. Usually if it passes 7 days you are pretty much in the clear but a kitten that gets sick the day after it arrives means it was ill most likely when it left the cattery.

I'm so incredibly sorry to read these latest updates. It's pretty obvious this person is not a good breeder. The entire story sounds very similar to others I've ready. As others said do not accept a replacement kitten and god forbid yours passes away, I'd be surprised if she even refunds your money.

If you have the funds to continue paying for Montgomery's care, certainly do so but with the understanding this breeder is only going to continue giving you grief about the situation and you don't need that added aggravation when you're in the middle of such an upsetting situation. I'd take everything she's saying with a grain of salt including those medical records she showed you unless it is from a vet practice you can contact to verify the information. I know our girl's records had the name of the vet/phone number on it and it was an actual vaccination card with all dates and types of vaccines listed.

If you are up for it there are Facebook groups where you can network with others who have been taken by bad catteries. The one I belong to (more for informational purposes to learn more about this subject) is Facebook Groups
There are probably more and you may find one dedicated to your specific area.
 
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